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Scan For Viruses
If you experience any strange behavior on your system, especially either as it is booting, or shortly after it completes, you should always use whatever antivirus software you own to do a full scan of the system before you do anything else. You should use a clean boot floppy if possible.
Do not fall into the "this can't be a virus" trap too easily. Obviously if you turn the power on and nothing happens at all, or if your hard disk won't spin up, or if your system seizes while it is doing the initial BIOS power-on test of your system memory, these are hardware problems that are not caused by a virus. However virtually any other symptom that appears to be a hardware issue can be either a hardware problem or simply a virus that is trying to masquerade as a hardware problem. To remove the complicating factor of always having to wonder "is this a virus?", scan your system before you spend a lot of time chasing ghosts.
Next: Read the Documentation